April 21, 2021

Professor says the problem with academia today is "too many conservatives." But here's the real punch line: He makes a point, just not the one he intended.

Everyone had quite a bit of fun with this earlier in the week.

That's ridiculous, right?

Why, everyone knows academia skews left. Way left.

Campus Reform contacted Siddique about this claim. When presented with a study published by the National Association of Scholars showing that college professors donate to Democrats ninety-five times more than to Republicans, Siddique insisted this was not relevant.

Not relevant?  I know what you want to do. You want to type up a witty retort, quite possibly in all caps so as to be more persuasive, but hold on to that thought for a moment.

Campus Reform has reported on hundreds of business school professors who endorsed President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Joe Biden?  Why that's clear evidence THAT THEY ARE JUST A BUNCH OF...

Put down the Mountain Dew and step away from the keyboard for a moment.

Nicole Neily, President of Speech First, criticized Siddique for his factually "incorrect" premise, citing a study showing that university administrators, on average, lean more left than their professors.

"Factually" incorrect is the worst kind of incorrect, because, you know, facts.

And it wasn't just Nicole Neily jumping on the Fact Express to truth and justice, it was Samual Abrams, too, whoever he is.

"Dr. Siddique's factual premise is incorrect; Sarah Lawrence professor Samuel Abrams the ideological composition of university administrators several years ago, and found that they actually lean farther left than even university professors," Neily told Campus Reform.

Akshually...

They can lean all they want, leaning is easy. Leaning is free.

You know what's not free?  Acting.  Acting can cost you.  Money, standing, privilege.

So, instead, they lean, and if they lean hard enough, maybe no one will notice they aren't doing anything, at least nothing that affects them directly.

Siddique noticed, and said something.  Sure, he has a cartoonish view of conservatism, and completely missed the larger point, but he's just falling into the same trap as the rest of us too often do.

There is a difference between preaching and acting, between virtue signalling and living with real-life consequences.

Let's put it this way, John Kerry travels in a private jet the better to lecture the rest of us about the sacrifices we must all make for the sake of the environment. Nancy Pelosi and Lori Lightfoot go to salons so they may be more presentable when they explain to the rest of us why it doesn't much matter whether we are presentable or not, and university administrators sing from the woke hymnal as much as necessary, but have no intention of putting any of it into practice in a manner that would interfere with their own wealth and comfort.

More to the point, it has nothing to do with ideology, principle or fundamental belief systems. Those things may be important to us, but they are just useful distractions to those in power.

Here's Siddique's original tweet.

The problem with academia today is that it has too many conservatives. They run the university. They sit in admin & on university boards enforcing manufactured austerity, combating unionization, & casualizing most of the professoriate.

Let's take a look at these one by one, from Siddique's point of view:

"Enforcing manufactured austerity."

Harvard has an endowment a little shy of $40 billion, Yale around $30 billion, Stanford and Princeton around $25 billion.

Even Siddique's own University of Massachusetts has an endowment a little short of $1 billion and an annual budget of $3.4 billion.

Why all the money? Why is Harvard "hoarding" nearly $40 billion? Think of all the social justice work they could do, if they really meant it. Instead, they talk about it, preening away, and "speaking out" against injustice.

Anything to keep the rubes busy.

"Combating unionization."

They typically fight it tooth and nail, where they can, particularly the richest and most woke of the private universities whose resistance to the unionization of their grad students has earned its own Wikipedia entry.

Oh, they totally believe in unions.  Elsewhere.

"Casualizing the professoriate."

Yes, "casualize" is a real thing.

If a business casualizes its employees or casualizes their labour, it replaces employees with permanent contracts and full rights with employees with temporary contracts and few rights.

It's tough to unionize contract workers.

This is a big issue in higher academic circles.

In the past, critics like myself and others were urged not to fret about the adjunctification, or "casualization," of academic labor. Again and again, jowly college presidents, rear admirals of learned societies bearing epaulets, line managers at elite doctoral mills, and assorted free-market types in bow ties, assured us that the institution of tenure was doing just swell. When it came to the growing ranks of nontenured, they spoke of "redundancies," "strategic redeployment of resources," and riffed about the need to be "nimble" in response to "shifting market demand." In many ways, these thought leaders were the brainy forebears of our current epistemological moment — a moment in which citizens are implored to ignore relevant data and their own engagement with empirical reality. Everything is perfect.

That things were nowhere near perfect in our vocation was as clear 10 years ago as is the desolate street outside your window today.

But as long as they contributed to Joe Biden, it's all good, right?

Back to Siddique for a moment.

Those who think that the ideological character of the university can be discerned by the political leanings of its faculty betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how institutions work. You have to look at management, not labor.

He has a point, but even that doesn't fully apply here. The faculty is in on it, too, at least the upper echelons, which they will do anything to preserve. Quoting Salazar again.

It cannot be denied that the apathy of tenured professors to the plight of their nontenured colleagues is a failure of common decency and professional solidarity (about which, more anon). But it pales in comparison to the dereliction of duty of our administrative overseers. It is they who made more or less all of the decisions just mentioned. Once those decisions were put into play, all that remained was for the present Covid-19 crisis to accelerate our free fall to the bottom.

When your self-interest conflicts with your ideals guess which wins out?

Siddique appears sincere in his beliefs, and when interviewed by Campus Reform above was invariably polite and seemed open to some intellectual give and take.

But both he and Campus Reform missed the real story. When all is said and done, when you drill down to the motivations of those with control, this has nothing to do with liberal vs. conservative values, or "right" vs. "left." It never does.

It's about power, seizing it, and more importantly, keeping it.

The top two people at Harvard are white men.

Harvard president

Same thing at Yale.

Yale president

Why don't they resign and make room for a BIPOC? They're perfectly happy denying your kid admission, particularly if he or she is Asian, in favor of furthering "diversity," so why don't they live what they preach?

Harvard has no Hispanic deans. None. Why not move out a couple more white guys? They've got plenty to spare! Why are the two Asian deans from a single country, India? How does that reflect the student body?

College administrators can pave their grassy country estates with BLM signs, they can support the Biden campaign and adopt 47 pronouns for describing their students, but it's all for the singular purpose of preserving their own wealth, comfort, and power.

That's what we're not supposed to notice while we scramble about screaming "hypocrisy!" and fighting ideological battles that they consider not timeless values but merely mechanisms, tools to be used for their own benefit. 

They know it's hypocrisy.

The don't care.

April 21, 2021 at 06:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 16, 2021

Cherry blossoms bloomed a few days earlier than expected meaning we're all supposed to panic or something.

Cherry Blossom Panic Cover 2

Never let a crisis go to waste?

How about never let a completely benign and utterly common event go to waste!

I regret to inform you that it's true, the cherry blossoms bloomed a few days earlier this year than originally expected.

Maybe you should start getting your affairs in order.

Also, turn over control of your life to the government. That will also be necessary I'm afraid.

Assuming you don't want to die!

However, as beautiful as it was, the early bloom is a grim reminder of the threats that the iconic Tidal Basin faces from a changing climate. Already, the basin floods and inundates the famous trees' roots daily, and this will only worsen as the planet warms. Estimates show that within 50 years, high tide will rise an additional 6 inches, which is entirely unsustainable.

Excuse me for a moment, I need to run around hysterically for a while.

Okay, I feel better now.

One thing though, kind of interesting I guess if you are some kind of data nerd, that the writer did not consider particularly relevant to the matter.

The cherry blossoms have bloomed earlier than this year 4 out of the last 11 years, and on or about the same time for another 2, suggesting that this year was, as "grim reminders of the threats that the iconic Tidal Basin faces from a changing climate" go, kinda average.

Cherry Blossom Doom 1 (1)

I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to notice that.

It doesn't matter, we have a scientific consensus, and as everyone knows, once you have scientific consensus it can never be challenged.

That's just what science is all about.

J.

April 16, 2021 at 02:13 PM in Current Affairs, Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 10, 2021

Newly arrived "Kondo Karens" try to shut down decades-old local car club in East Austin noting such things as "toxic masculinity."

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I could not confirm at press time whether or not a manager had been seen yet.

Full disclosure, I am a car guy. I've shown cars at car shows (purely amateur "fun field" stuff) and genuinely enjoy the myriad cultures and subcultures that comprise the love of automobiles and that routinely brings people of all races and backgrounds together.

Which I guess is why it must be destroyed.

Some variation of this assembly has taken place nearly every Sunday afternoon since the early nineties. But now many residents of The Weaver, a newly built luxury apartment building across the street—whose website promises renters access to a "community that is rich in history and tradition"—have decided it's time for the weekly event to come to an unceremonious end.

A twitter commenter noted that,

"In legal-speak it's called "coming to the nuisance."

He noted the people who come to the nuisance usually lose, although I don't believe that's true in the long run. They'll win the court battles but eventually will lose the economic war.

It's what happened when the Washington DC metro area began pushing out into the outer counties with real vigor back in the '90s. People wanted to "get out in the country," none of whom apparently had ever actually lived in the country, the sum total of their knowledge regarding rural life coming from Hallmark Christmas cards and coming-of-age Family Channel cable fare.

Much to the surprise of the newcomers, nature smells, and complaints began rolling in about the smell of manure and the like from the abutting farms.

And something had to be done about it!

There wasn't much they could really do, of course, farms are gonna farm, but while the legal and even political battles were won by the farmers, they eventually lost the war as developers bought all the land, the farmers left, cash in pocket, and now large swaths of these outer counties have become suburban seas of builder-grade condos and McMansion developments for socially insecure status seekers.

Which brings us back to Austin.

Some of the building's residents defend the car club gatherings and note they predate The Weaver residents' arrival in the neighborhood, but many others have grown tired of the loud music, annoyed by the traffic, and turned off by the smell of skidding tires.

In promoting the condo complex, The Weaver condo notes,

"...the thrill of thriving in vibrant East Austin style."

It would appear the thrill of East Austin's "vibrant style" diminishes in appeal the closer you get to it. The obvious solution is, don't get close to it if you don't like it.

Or, I guess you could demand the existing neighborhood conform to your expectations of a watered down, sanitized, and quieter "vibrancy" probably involving Pinot Grigio and Teslas humming along in electrified silence.

One particularly vocal tenant, a non-Hispanic white woman with short blond hair who appeared to be in her fifties and refused to give her name, claimed that smoke from the tires was killing nearby trees...

Tire smoke is a well-known herbicide. It's amazing the whole east side of Austin hasn't already been deforested by burnouts.

Forget Agent Orange, we should have sent battalions of East Side care enthusiasts to Viet Nam, do some burnouts, clear out those jungles in no time.

...and that traffic from the gathering would make it impossible for an ambulance to reach her in the event of a medical emergency (though two other roads to the apartment building remain accessible at all times).

She SO wants to call a manager.

Another Weaver resident voiced more generalized criticism, calling the event a "display of toxic masculinity."

East Austin: A Superfund site of toxic masculinity.

And if we're going to describe a love of automobiles and occasional burnouts (they gather for a few hours one day a week) "toxic masculinity," then I'd describe whatever this is as "toxic femininity."

The Weaver Chicano Park 6

"Socially distanced social hour!"

I think all the testosterone just drained from my body. Maybe I need to revisit my pronouns...

The next day, it was clear that patience remained in short supply. Watching from her upper-floor apartment, one of The Weaver's most vocal critics of the car clubs, the blond woman who worried about emergency responders being able to reach her, decided she'd had enough. She bounded downstairs and into the street in high heels, holding her iPhone to film the offending vehicles and threatening to call the police on another group of men standing beside an old-school Ford sedan who looked unamused.

"Cultural tolerance," and "diversity makes us stronger," are concepts widely celebrated by the upper classes.

In the abstract.

He [a car enthusiast] wondered why instead of calling the police and creating unnecessary tension the blond woman and other angry residents hadn't walked across the street and introduced themselves first, opening up dialogue. "If you come with good energy, you'll find out that we're just here to chill and enjoy the cars and the scenery," he said. "Don't be scared."

That would require they actually live that tolerance, genuinely open their minds to a different culture, learn about it, understand it, perhaps even come to appreciate it.

"It's just a few hours out of the week."

Too much for the Kondo Karens. I mean, it's one thing to have "them" come around and care for their grounds, remove their garbage, walk their dogs, serve them their lattes, but look, there are boundaries. They certainly don't want to have to live with them.

To my surprise, this makes me want to visit Austin now, if only to rent a Mustang or a Camaro, or some other appropriate symbol of toxic masculinity, and do a few social justice burnouts in front of The Weaver.

Incidentally, if you'd like to read a full-out profane and passionate rampage about this, check out this series of rage tweets. I follow him, a real car guy who rarely goes off the hook like this, and it is glorious. But really, profane.

 

There was a rally not long ago in support of the car clubs and the mayor even stopped by so maybe there's still some hope.

April 10, 2021 at 08:44 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 09, 2021

University of Oxford changing music degree curriculum to address "white hegemony" because things like learning musical notation is colonialist

The problem with Oxford's music curriculum?

Way too much music.

(You should be able to get behind the Telegraph's paywall going through MSN here.)

Documents reveal that faculty members, who decide on courses that form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it is a "colonialist representational system".

Teaching notation which has not "shaken off its connection to its colonial past" would be a "slap in the face" for some students, documents state, and music-writing studies have been earmarked for rebranding to be more inclusive.

"A slap in the face."

You know, notes, bars, sharp signs,... definitely can see those causing PCRTTSD, or "Post Critical Race Theory Traumatic Stress Disorder."

What exactly is this musical notation that they want to eliminate as a necessary course to get a degree in music from Oxford?

Pretty much what you think it is, "sheet music," the means by which musicians both aspiring and otherwise can create and share complex compositions.

Musical notation, visual record of heard or imagined musical sound, or a set of visual instructions for performance of music. It usually takes written or printed form and is a conscious, comparatively laborious process. Its use is occasioned by one of two motives: as an aid to memory or as communication. By extension of the former, it helps the shaping of a composition to a level of sophistication that is impossible in a purely oral tradition. By extension of the latter, it serves as a means of preserving music (although incompletely and imperfectly) over long periods of time, facilitates performance by others, and presents music in a form suitable for study and analysis.

What is its connection to colonialism? The best I can determine is that it was developed during a time when European nations were colonizing large portions of the world. If that's the measure by which we cancel things now, things could get interesting.

Maybe we should eliminate scientific notation as a requirement for getting a degree in mathematics. It is believed the first attempt at developing scientific notation was in ancient Greece. Greece is a part of Europe, Greece is full of white people (well, white-ish), and they had slaves, so I guess out it goes. Just use smaller numbers from now on, say no larger than 1000, I'm sure that will work out fine.

Incidentally, if you find you are triggered by things like musical notation, maybe you should consider the very real possibility that you picked the wrong major.

It's like wanting to be a carpenter but you've got this wood allergy so if they could maybe eliminate the wood part of the job that would be great, thanks.

Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music from the slave period."

"The slave period."

I have news for them: We're still in the slave period. We've always been in the slave period.

A genuine and enduring human scandal, but a fact.

And where might slavery be most prevalent today?

Overall, in the countries that are not European and were never European colonies.

 

Global Slavery Index 2018

Which countries are doing the most to end modern slavery?

Overall, the countries that are European or were European colonies.

Highlights-response-1156x1520

That's something you don't see discussed very much in academic circles or the media or pretty much anywhere.

Maybe we should be recolonizing the musical curriculum instead.

Academics have also proposed that musical skills such as learning to play the keyboard or conducting orchestras should no longer be compulsory because the repertoire "structurally centres white European music" which causes "students of colour great distress".

A few thoughts:

The university of Oxford is in England which is part of Europe.

So, a European university centering on European music really should not be much of a revelation.

As for "white European music," well, I guess that's important.

If you're a racist.

It is also noted that the "vast bulk of tutors for techniques are white men".

A faculty checklist devised to tick off student demands notes that hip hop and jazz are on the curriculum at Oxford, providing "non-Eurocentric" topics of study. But professors questioning whether the "structure of our curriculum supports white supremacy" have also highlighted the issue of an "almost all-white faculty" giving "privilege to white musics".

Fun fact: The UK is over 85% white.

Adding additional forms of music is a great idea, but centering a degree in music on on its traditional European roots at a university in Europe sounds pretty unworthy of controversy to me.

Options focussing on French composer Machaut and Schubert's last decade could be changed to focus on "African and African Diasporic Musics", "Global Musics", and "Popular Musics" under one proposal.

By all means, add other forms of music, other options. In  fact, those already exist at Oxford as they should. But this is Oxford, the music degree they offer should be focused on Oxford.

Or are we allowed to "deny their lived experience," because I thought that was a thing now.

Another suggestion is that pop music will come into greater focus, allowing students to study mooted events in popular culture including "Dua Lipa's Record Breaking Livestream" and "Artists Demanding Trump Stop Using Their Songs".

Maybe they can offer a masters degree in "Listening to Spotify While I Update My Instagram Profile." That should have a lot of currency in the market.

This is how cultures not just die, but commit ritual suicide. They are no longer proud of their heritage but ashamed of it. To paraphrase Ben Shapiro, they have been convinced that every bad thing done by a white European was unique to white Europeans, and every good thing done is common to all humanity when the exact opposite is true.

The culture is dying, and it's doing it on purpose.

April 9, 2021 at 03:55 PM in Current Affairs, Education, Woke Madness | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 10, 2021

Cancel Culture Doesn't Exist. Also, Musician Cancelled For Liking The Wrong Book.

Why, it's the exception that proves the rule!

In fact, there are so many exceptions to this rule the evidence is overwhelming that cancel culture is a figment of the imaginations of Fox News and fascist right-wing racist transphobe misogynist colonizing haters (apologies if I missed anyone):

What thought-crime would elicit such a Struggle Session confessional?

This. (You might want to make sure there are no children in the room due to its disturbing content.)

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Your eyes are not deceiving you.

He actually liked a book that some other people don't like.

I don't know what people are thinking sometimes.

No doubt, as an open-minded progressive, you are totally unfamiliar with Andy Ngo's hateful work. You are to be commended for  protecting your worldview from the impurity of unfamiliar ideas.

Let me sum it up for you:

Andy Ngo took pictures of things that happened and then permitted common citizens to view them without those events being placed in their proper context.

Think of the chaos that could ensue were this kind of reckless behavior permitted to spread.

Take this example.

Had CNN not been there to instruct viewers that they were not seeing what they were seeing, well, who knows what might have happened.

(Hint: Biden might have lost.)

Naturally, Twitter came down hard on Marshall, as well they should.

In addition to being a music critic, Duncan writes things like this.

I don't know about you, but I'm always up for a tedious recitation of a private college's liberal arts syllabus.

And there was this.

Mike is not only a comic genius, but the author of an anthology of tortured poetry introduced as:

In a world choking on social media cleanliness, Golden is a glance at the sordid underbelly which unites humanity - whether humanity likes it or not. It is a knot of painfully-raw honesty and bitter deceit, drenched in a viscous philosophy and hard to swallow half-truths.

These people all sound pretty happy to me.

I didn't realize it at the time, but my eyes have now been opened. Just look at the guy. That's him, right there, he's the one who's... okay, I have no idea which one he is but he is totally there and dripping with hate.

Some are saying his apology was cowardly. Not at all. It was stunning and brave. In fact, it was so stunning and brave we can all look forward to him making that apology, in ever more passionate versions, in the near future.

What is cowardly is Andy Ngo placing himself in harm's way to record events that are being ignored by the mainstream media. Why, that's the very definition of cowardly! Go ahead, look it up!

Wait, not yet. Merriam-Webster is probably still working on it.

One final thing if you're not yet convinced that Marshall must be punished (but not cancelled because that doesn't happen.).

Here is a picture of the band standing with Jordon Peterson who is extremely controversial because I just told you he is.

Marshall 3

What more do you need?

March 10, 2021 at 04:14 PM in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 21, 2020

The Only Thing We Have To Fear,... Is Everything.

As if things weren’t bad enough, a mysterious new illness that has the potential to kill tens of thousands of Americans including hundreds of children has started circulating throughout the United States.

Scientists have dubbed it “the flu.”

This strange and highly contagious virus is causing panic throughout the United States, particularly among parents concerned about their children’s susceptibility to the infection.

While a vaccine has been developed to help control this so-called “flu” it is at best, 50% to 60% effective, calling into question the motives behind the administration’s push for wide distribution. Why are they so intent on having everyone take a vaccine that still leaves your odds of contracting this deadly virus barely as good as what you’d get playing roulette?

Do we really want to gamble the lives of our children on the spin of a wheel?

That is why it is absolutely necessary that we shut down our economy.

Not the entire economy, of course. That would be reckless. Just the small parts that are not well-organized and lack political influence such as restaurants, independent retailers, other small businesses, and really anything that doesn’t rhyme with “Amazon,” or “Wal-Mart.”

This invisible enemy, this “flu,” can and will be defeated, but only if we all work together by wrapping our faces in scraps of cloth and staying home, doors closed and blinds pulled.

Further instructions will be forthcoming.

We thank you your obedience.

Cooperation. We meant to say cooperation.

J.

Spread the word. While you still can! Click here for the entire collection or the pics below.

Halloween-themed-mockup-featuring-a-t-shirt-surrounded-by-pumpkins-106

Mockup-of-a-woman-wearing-a-hoodie-featuring-a-collage-background-42538 Tank-top-mockup-of-a-young-woman-hiking-32231

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October 21, 2020 at 01:01 PM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 16, 2020

Graham-Feinstein Hug Sparks Outrage Because Of Course It Does

In a genuine moment of comity, two political rivals, Lindsay Graham and Diane Feinstein, shared a brief hug following the conclusion of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings sending a message that while we may have differences, in the end, we are all part of the same human family.

That is why it must be condemned.

Feinstein even had the gall to say kind words about Graham.  Naturally, calls for her resignation followed with one activist organization issuing a statement that read:

“If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of a Supreme Court seat with kid gloves.”

We should note that this theft was organized by a group of notorious traitors known as “The Founding Fathers,” and set in motion 233 years ago with a diabolical plan that came to be known as “The Constitution” laying out in detail the specific conditions under which a Supreme Court vacancy is to be filled.

As bad as Feinstein’s ill-advised display of humanity might have been, her transgression goes beyond simply being courteous and following the law of the land, that hug she shared, maskless no less, was too much for some to take.

Quick, cover the children's eyes!

Some believed Feinstein deserves to “get a little Covid” for her wanton violation of Covid guidelines. This week's, anyway:

Indeed, don’t we all wish we could “turn back time and donut all over.”

via GIPHY

Many others went further, wishing she would die.

Interestingly, wishing the death of a United States Senator does not violate Twitter’s terms of service, but reporting on a potential financial scandal is totally beyond the pale.

Will we ever return to a time when political adversaries were simply people with whom we have policy disagreements and not evil enemies unworthy of being treated with any decency or respect?

Call us, “cautiously pessimistic.”

J.

October 16, 2020 at 08:53 AM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

October 15, 2020

The Truth Is Out There. Maybe That's Where We Should Leave It.

You know you’re living in strange times when legitimate evidence that UFOs exist isn’t the biggest story of the year.

Here are the facts as we know them: There are flying objects breaking the laws of physics as we understand them, zipping about our country including military facilities and we have absolutely no idea who or what they are.

Now let me be clear, I’m not saying these are aliens.

Guatemala just doesn’t have that kind of technology.

And I’m not saying these are extraterrestrials. We haven’t seen hard, irrefutable evidence of that yet.

What I am saying is, there are flying objects breaking the laws of physics as we understand them, zipping about our country including military facilities and we have absolutely no idea who or what they are!!

Are you okay with that? We’re not okay with that.

Are they from the future? From the past? Chinese? Russian? Interdimensional?

Is there a good choice?

There used to be one:

They didn’t exist.

We went with that for years, people were seeing things, they were crazy, and so on.

Good times.

But the government has been forced to be more forthcoming with information after some footage the Navy had was leaked to The New York Times:

The Navy eventually confirmed the leaked footage and had this to say about it:

“DOD [Department of Defense] is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified’”

Oh, well, that explains everyth… Wait, what?! The footage is real?! And you don’t know what those things are?!

Do you feel comforted? We don’t feel comforted.  It’s more like abject terror mixed with foreboding.  That’s kind of the opposite of comforted, isn’t it?

Now that we think about it, we may have preferred the lying. The government is good at lying. Go with your strengths, we say.

It gets even crazier:

Now, it is important to keep in mind that this is coming from, well, Harry Reid. For all we know, Harry Reid has anonymous sources telling him the extraterrestrials haven’t paid income taxes for 10 years.

If you’d like to learn more about these and other developments and the potential hazards these unidentified phenomena might present, we suggest you check out this new documentary:

Oops, sorry, wrong clip.

Try this one:

Sweet dreams.

J.

October 15, 2020 at 08:42 AM in Current Affairs, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 10, 2020

We’re Guessing Bobbing For Apples Is Right Out

As you know, we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic with an overall mortality rate fast approaching that of the seasonal flu and to which children are all but immune.

That is why it is essential that we ruin Halloween for them.

AdobeStock_175283721It’s for the chil… okay, that won’t work this time.

Regardless, shut up because science.

To that end, the CDC has come out with a list of “lower risk activities can be safe alternatives” for celebrating Halloween starting with:

“Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.”

Okay, maybe not the most imaginative idea given that close to 150 million Americans already carve Halloween pumpkins every year. Plus, it’s not clear how you make a holiday special by spending it with people you already Shutterstock_734744623spend nearly every waking moment with.

Leaving aside the wisdom arming people with knives who are probably at each other’s throats already, what about the hazards that already exist? Doesn’t the CDC understand how very very dangerous pumpkin carving is? In 2017:

“… pumpkin carving accounted for nearly 3,200 of the 16,706 Halloween-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments, doctors' offices and clinics, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

It’s almost as if there are risks in life.

Weird.

Another suggestion:

“Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.”

Kind of like how you mow your lawn “with” neighbors and friends, at a safe distance.  Think of all the togetherness and camaraderie that fosters.

Oh, and again with the pumpkin carving. It’s like it’s okay to die of anything other than Covid.

“Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.”

Because you don’t spend enough time in Zoom meetings already.

“Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.”

Yet more time with those people. This is actually starting to sound genuinely scary. Maybe these are good Halloween activities.

“Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.”

Aaaaahhhh!!!!!

If you’re more of the daredevil type, the kind of adrenaline junkie who doesn’t feel truly alive unless faced with imminent danger, you can try some of the CDCs “Moderate Risk Activities.”

“Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance. (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).”

It’s like looking into the jaws of death itself and prevailing.

“If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.”

Has the air ever tasted sweeter than after a young child takes a thoroughly disinfected goodie back from the end of your driveway and yet you remain standing, unbowed?

Shutterstock_1794243364Incidentally, by ensuring your goodie bags approach the sterility of an operating theater, you are protecting the least vulnerable by eliminating the most improbable path of infection.

A couple of additional precautions. First, not wearing a cloth mask can be dangerous:

“A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.”

Second, wearing a cloth mask can be dangerous:

“Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.”

You know what, forget about it. Halloween is way too risky. Stay indoors, get underneath your covers, and the government will let you know when it’s completely safe and risk-free to come back out.

Be patient, it might be a while.

J.

Spread the word. While you still can! Click here for the entire collection or the pics below.

Halloween-themed-mockup-featuring-a-t-shirt-surrounded-by-pumpkins-106

Mockup-of-a-woman-wearing-a-hoodie-featuring-a-collage-background-42538 Tank-top-mockup-of-a-young-woman-hiking-32231

Halloween-mockup-featuring-an-11-oz-coffee-mug-119

October 10, 2020 at 03:27 PM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

October 08, 2020

The Pope Gets Woke!

More like wokER.

AdobeStock_248723466Pope Francis has been suspicious of capitalism and free markets for some time. Not enough to forego the substantial flow of these ill-gotten gains into the coffers of the Vatican, of course. But you should know he has nothing but disdain for the millions of dollars it provides. Probably draws little frowny faces on the deposit slips.

“In today’s world, many forms of injustice persist, fed by… a profit-based economic model that does not hesitate to exploit, discard and even kill human beings.”

Unlike competing economic models like communism that in contrast exploit, discard, and even kill human beings in a slower, more methodical manner. And more efficient, too, if the numbers are any indication.

“The Pope decried the free-market “dogma of neo-liberal faith” that views ‘the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ ... as the only solution to societal problems.’ He went on to write that ‘market freedom cannot supersede the rights of peoples and the dignity of the poor.’”

Perhaps the Pope believes that the way you preserve the dignity of the poor is to have more of them. A lot more, given that the rise of free-market economies have witnessed an explosion in widespread prosperity.

Regarding property rights, the very foundation of all earthly freedom, the Pope noted that:

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods.”

When property rights become a secondary right, everyone typically suffers.

But, we all suffer equally.

“The right of some to free enterprise or market freedom cannot supersede the rights of peoples and the dignity of the poor, or, for that matter, respect for the natural environment, for ‘if we make something our own, it is only to administer it for the good of all.’”

You know what happens when you administer something “for the good of all?”

Bad things.

Regarding our human family, the Pope notes:

“In a family, parents, grandparents and children all feel at home; no one is excluded. If someone has a problem, even a serious one, even if he brought it upon himself, the rest of the family comes to his assistance; they support him. His problems are theirs… In families, everyone contributes to the common purpose; everyone works for the common good, not denying each person’s individuality but encouraging and supporting it. They may quarrel, but there is something that does not change: the family bond. Family disputes are always resolved afterwards. The joys and sorrows of each of its members are felt by all. That is what it means to be a family! If only we could view our political opponents or neighbours in the same way that we view our children or our spouse, mother or father! How good would this be!”

Yes, how good that would be!

Shutterstock_1685806537Theoretically.

Now, think about how your nuclear family gets along as described above.

Now add extended family.

Go further, in-laws boyfriends, second cousins.

Shutterstock_114545716Now, picture Thanksgiving dinner, with your vegan niece, your football-loving uncle, the sister-in-law who just got divorced and discovered witchcraft, the twin cousins with their matching MAGA hats, the Bernie Bro guy who you think might be a nephew but you lost track trying to referee a disagreement between your fruitarian anorexic sister and your wife’s niece’s bodybuilding keto girlfriend.

Put another way, have you ever tried to organize a lunch outing with a few coworkers?

Ever try it with a thousand?

Agreeing on a place, well, that would be a miracle!

The Pope does have a point, though. Sure, free-market capitalism with its emphasis on property being a primary right might have brought prosperity to the world, greater personal freedom, superior environmental outcomes, and the resources necessary for the church to do its work. However, the alternatives result in the exact opposite, with less prosperity, less personal freedom, worse environmental outcomes, fewer resources for the church and even a wholly predictable botched response to the pandemic.

Wait, where I was going with this?

Oh yes. Pray!

J.

October 8, 2020 at 12:30 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)